Frogs and Toads in Your Pocket

A Guide to Amphibians of the Upper Midwest
Suzanne L. Collins

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November 2011
laminated fold-out guide, 24 color photos, 4 drawings 16 3/4 x 16 7/8 inches folds to 4 1/8 x 9 inches

“Frogs and toads worldwide are endangered, and their biggest threats are human ignorance and indifference. It is also true—ask any kid—that frogs and toads are fascinating animals. Terry VanDeWalle’s attractive and informative laminated guide to the frogs and toads of the Upper Midwest offers a bridge to a newfound knowing and understanding of these fine animals. It says: here are our frogs and toads—they are beautiful and valuable. But it also suggests, by extension, that you should now go out there and look—get a little muddy and rumpled—and discover again what you once knew as a kid.”—Michael J. Lannoo, editor, Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species

This colorful addition to Iowa’s series of laminated guides informs both amateur and professional herpetologists about all sixteen species of frogs and eight species of toads to be found in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.

Frogs and toads have become canaries in the coal mine when it comes to conservation, as the discovery of malformed frogs has brought increased attention to global habitat loss, declining biodiversity, and environmental pollution. Midwestern species of frogs and toads—already declining due to habitat loss from agriculture—have been greatly affected by this worldwide phenomenon. VanDeWalle includes a complete description of each species along with distinguishing characteristics for three subspecies, information about range and habitat preferences, diet, types of calls, and breeding season.

Comparisons of similar species and comprehensive keys, as well as superb photographs by Suzanne Collins, are helpful aids for identifying individual amphibians in the field. The guides are perfect companions for hiking and fishing expeditions in all kinds of environments, whenever a tree frog stares at you from overhead, or a toad hops across your path.